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January 23, 2009

"Damages" Recap: "Burn It, Shred it, I Don't Care" (1/14/09)

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We begin this week where we ended last week.  The camera shot tracks down the hallway to an apartment.  We hear good old Ray Charles crooning away inside apartment 1910.

Then there's a closeup of Ellen and she says, "It seems like you're not going to tell me the truth after all.  That's okay."  She takes a drink. 

"I lied too."

Bang, bang. 

Flashback six months earlier.  Ellen's in the backseat of her FBI spy car when Patty calls.  There's been an emergency and Ellen needs to meet Patty at her office right away. 

When we see Patty, she's in the bathroom at Danny Purcell's house and she's been crying.  Hmm.   Is she still in love with Purcell and she's worried about him?  Or is she freaking out because of poor dead Christine lying on the kitchen floor?  Ray Fiske's blood soaked spectral appearance might have something to do with her being so emotional. 

Detectives are prowling all around Purcell's kitchen when Patty comes in.  The lead detective, Detective Huntley wants to know if Patty is Purcell's attorney.  Patty says she's not. 

When Detective Huntley starts questioning Purcell, Danny gives some lame-ass story about dropping his wife off in front of the house after they came back from the party.

When he got back to the house---after parking the car?---the front door was unlocked and an "Aryan or Nordic" looking, short, stringy haired blonde guy slammed into him and ran off.  That's how he hurt his head.  Purcell went to look for Christine and found her dead, dead, dead on the kitchen floor.

He then goes into this story about how the guy must have followed Christine 'cause he saw Purcell drop her off, blah, blah, blah...

Who believes this guy?

Purcell's either the worst liar in the world or William Hurt has turned into a very bad actor.

The detective wants to know if Purcell knew of anyone who hated his guts and would have wanted to kill his poor dead wife.  Purcell's like, me?  No, never. 

Flashback to Purcell and Goodwin at the toxic water---I don't know it's toxic, it just looks like it would be---and Goodwin telling Danny, "It's time, Mr. Purcell.  Are you ready to be reasonable?"

Flash forward to Purcell and the detective. 

No grievances or threats against me.  None whatsoever.  Not a one.

Patty's like, WTF?

Flashback to Patty and Danny in his car where he tells her he's in trouble.

Flash forward and the cops start to wheel Christine out on a gurney and Purcell goes into full blown phony grieving husband mode.  "Oh Jesus....oh, Jesus, Christine!"

Oh give me a break!

Purcell, still in the throes of "grief" and hyperventilating or something, collapses on the sofa.  Patty gets him juice, explaining to the detective that Danny's a diabetic.  She then demands the detective leave the questioning for later.  'Cause you know what?  Now she is his attorney.

Opening credits.

Back at Hewes, Inc. it's later that night and Ellen is giving Patty a status report while Tommyhawk is on the phone arranging security for Danny and his daughter.  Ellen booked Purcell into a hotel then leaked to the press that he was staying somewhere else.  Is this guy so well known that the press really care where he is?  It's not like he's Frobisher or something.

Anyway Tommyhawk is puzzled why the three of them are up in the middle of the night hand holding Danny when what he really needs is a cutthroat defense attorney.  Patty says she's not handing the case off to anyone else.  Ellen reminds Patty the lead plaintiff for the infant mortality case is coming to the office in the morning.

Patty's like, forget that, my hands are gonna be too full trying to keep Danny from gettin' a needle up his arm for killing his wife.  She tells Tommyhawk to take first chair.  Ellen's like, yeah, okay.  Great.

Cut to Patty with Danny.  He's sleeping on a couch in her office and she actually seems moved by seeing him in such distress.  She wakes him and tells him they're moving him to a hotel.  He's groggy as he drinks the juice Patty gives him and says he needs to call his daughter.  

Patty's like, in a minute.  First the detectives are gonna want to talk to you in the morning and we need to get your lame ass story straight.  She wants to know why he lied about the threats.  He refuses to answer.  Patty's like, look you're going to be the only suspect because the cops will never believe your lame ass story unless you give me someone else to pin this on.   Patty tries to get him to talk more about who might be behind the threats but Danny tells her he doesn't want to talk anymore.

Ellen comes in to announce a car has arrived and Patty hustles Danny off to the hotel.  Four big bodyguards who look like they eat little babies for breakfast accompany him.  Driving right by and watching all this is none other than Goodwin looking very unhappy.

The next day, Ellen's working and Patty comes in with coffee and wants to know how it went getting Danny settled.  Ellen says he's tucked in tight.  She then wants to know if Patty thinks Danny is capable of killing his wife.

Patty says, "I think anyone is capable of anything."

I would have never guessed that.

Ellen offers to help Patty in any way she can, and by the way the infant mortality...Patty's like, look Ellen, get off my back about that dumb case.  You go convince the plaintiff that Tommyhawk is the best lawyer ever born and get off my back.

Ellen meets with her handlers in an alley somewhere and they're not too happy that Tommyhawk is gonna take the infant mortality case.  They chat about it and then decide to let Tommy take the case after all.  That way they can flip him when the time is right and get to Patty that way.  Agent Mario warns Ellen that Tommyhawk's career will be destroyed.  Ellen's like, you swim with the fishes, you get bit...or you lie down with dogs, you get fleas...or you run with rhinos, you get rammed...or something like that.

Ellen gets to the office and there's a newspaper with a post-it on it from Uncle Pete.  The article says Frobisher's left the hospital. 

Cut to Ellen outside on the street as her former group therapy session is breaking up.  Wes spots her and comes over.  Ellen was waiting for him because she wants to talk.  She tells him she had the chance to kill the guy who killed David.  She describes being alone with Frobisher, but doesn't mention Frobisher's name. 

Ellen says she realized she couldn't kill Frobisher because dear, dead David wouldn't want her to.  But she's kind of regretting it 'cause the guy's disappeared and now she'll never find him.  Wes tells her if she wants to find someone, she can.  Ellen ends the conversation by telling Wes he was the only one she could talk to about what happened.

Flash forward six months later.

We take a peak in Ellen's apartment and she's in bed with...Wes.  They've just had sex and Ellen gets a phone call.  She tells whoever it is that she'll meet them in ten minutes.  When Wes asks one too many questions about her always having to go out to meet strange people, Ellen tells him not to be there when she gets back.

That went from hot to cold quicker than you can say "cold shower," didn't it?

Flashback to Patty chatting with Danny.  She brings in the box of papers that Danny sent her and wants to know what they are.  Danny says his company was hired by an unknown company to test a chemical compound that turned out to be extremely toxic.  The compound is commercially called aerosight.  Whoever commissioned the report squeezed his company to doctor the results and they did.   But they left Danny's name on the report.

Patty wants to know if they would have killed Christine over it.  Danny says they warned him to keep quiet.  Patty wants to know who might have commissioned the report.  Danny's like, there's a whole bunch of companies worth billions who might have commissioned it.

Patty wants him to tell the police.  Danny's not gonna do it.  Patty wants to know what to do with the box of papers.  Danny says, "Burn it, shred it. I don't care."   Ladies and Gentlemen, the title of our episode.

Danny says if the papers ever become public, he'll deny everything.

The two of them are walking to the elevator and Patty's son Michael gets off.  Patty gets very uncomfortable as she introduces Michael to Danny.  When Danny hears Michael is Patty's son, he pauses, then shakes Michael's hand.  Patty says goodbye and Danny gets on the elevator.

Patty might as well have introduced them as "Michael, this is your father Daniel Purcell.  Danny, this is your son Michael---you know the one we had all those years ago, but kept secret?"

Cut Tommyhawk and Ellen meeting with a black woman, Agent Monique.  Tommy's doing the hard sell about how Hewes, Inc. is going to get all those bad old insurance companies and how Agent Monique is going to represent all those infant mortality women. 

At the end of the meeting Agent Monique wants to talk privately with Tommy.  When they're alone, Monique hits up Tommy for $60,000 up front before she'll sign with Hewes, Inc.  Tommy's like, Agent Monique, that's illegal 'cause you'll be getting more money than the other plaintiffs. 

Agent Monique does the "working two jobs" sob story act and after she adds that other law firms are coming to call, Tommyhawk agrees to pay her.  He tells her he needs 72 hours to get the money together.

Back at FBI alley, Ellen, Agent Mario, Agent Glenn and Agent Monique are listening to the tape of Tommy agreeing to the payoff.  Agent Monique warns it's not official until Tommyhawk actually hands over the dough. 

Out in the country at a very pretty house by a lake, Patty pulls up the driveway.  Danny and daughter Erica are planting a tree in honor of dear, dead Christine.  Ah, that's nice.

Patty's like, let's get down to business.  There's no evidence anyone else was in your house when Christine was killed, so your in deep, deep trouble unless you start giving me some answers.

She wants to know if Danny and Christine had any money problems, gambling problems, drug problems, sex problems? 

Danny denies any money problems, gambling problems, drug problems, sex problems.

Any affairs?  Danny's like, "Noooo."

"Did you ever hit Christine?"

Danny blows up and Patty's like, don't act like it could have never happened 'cause we both know you have a temper.

Danny denies hitting Christine and tells Patty they'll never know who's really behind "this."

Danny goes back to helping Erica with the tree planting.

Next thing we know Patty is walking into EPA Earl's office.  She's shown him the documents and want as much info as she can get on the toxicity reports.  She also wants to know what the compound could be used for.  EPA Earl says company's keep that kind of info hush, hush during the developmental stage but he'll hunt around and see what he can find out. Discreetly of course. 

Cut to EPA Earl walking up to a park bench and sitting right down next to...Goodwin! 

He's giving Goodwin a heads up and copies of the papers.  Goodwin's very grateful and promises a nice golf game the next time they get together.  When EPA Earl leaves, Goodwin calls someone on his cellphone and asks for an "urgent" meeting with Claire Maddox.

Patty and Tommyhawk are in Patty's office when Ellen walks in.  Patty hands Ellen an envelope, all serious and everything saying, "Turns out someone we know has been keeping a secret."

Ellen and I are both thinking she's been caught.  Run, Ellen, run!

But she doesn't run.  Instead she opens the envelope and pulls out a photo.


Ellen looks puzzled, "A sonogram?"

Tommyhawk breaks into a grin and says, "It's a boy." 

There's going to be a Baby Tommyhawk!

Ellen starts laughing.  They all start laughing.  Ellen and I are both relieved she hasn't been caught.  She's so relieved in fact she goes over the top with congratulations and hugs for Tommy.

Cut to Ellen once again in the backseat of her FBI spy car.  Agent Glenn gets a call and it's obvious it's personal.  He gets out of the car to talk.  Agent Mario is not happy about it.  "All day long with this bullsh*t!"

Then he explains to Ellen that Agent Glenn's wife is leaving him.  On to more important matters, the meeting between Tommyhawk and Agent Monique has been set up.  Ellen seems to be having second thoughts.  The idea of a Baby Tommyhawk might be tickling her conscience a bit but she still agrees that Tommy should be used to get to Patty.

Goodwin comes storming into Claire Maddox's office all pissy because she kept him waiting half an hour.

Claire Maddox, played by the very wonderful Marcia Gay Harden, is all legal, sexy eagle, in a cleavage bearing white blouse with ruffled trim.  Her attitude seems to be, yup, here they are, check 'em out.

Back to Goodwin though, Claire is not sympathetic in the least.  In fact she treats him like he's not brainy enough to unzip his fly without her help. 

"What is it this time?" 

Goodwin explains about Danny and the leaked documents and how they need to get them back.  It's clear they both work for someone named Mr. Kendrick and that he doesn't know about the missing papers.

Claire asks where the papers are now.  When Goodwin says they're with Patty Hewes, Claire does a triple take...it's obvious she's heard of her.

Oh I sense a big old confrontation between Patty and Claire sometime in the near future.

Cut to Wes and Ellen having lunch al fresco.   Wes called her because he's been thinking about her.  He pulls out a newspaper and says she's braver than he thought to be taking on someone like Arthur Frobisher.  He opens the paper to the article Ellen was looking at earlier about Frobisher being released from the hospital.  

Ellen lies and says the man she was talking about wasn't Frobisher.  Wes doesn't believe her and warns her against confronting someone as powerful as old Art.  Ellen should forget all about him and move on with her life.

Later on we see Wes clipping the Frobisher article out of the paper.  He opens up a floor to ceiling cabinet and inside we see a virtual shrine of newspaper clippings about Arthur Frobisher.  In among them is an article about poor dead David's murder.  Freaky.

Except it gets better.  As the camera pulls out, we see the articles are posted in a fully stocked gun cabinet.

Dun, dun, dunnnnnnnn.

After a commercial break we see Tommyhawk---in the future?---knocking on a door and then using a key to go into a building.  He goes into an office that looks like it's in a warehouse and takes out a gun from under a desk.  He wraps it in a towel and leaves.

Cut to Ellen getting into Tommy's car and he gives the gun to Ellen. 

"I hope you know what you're doing," he says. 

"I do."

Bang, bang.

Flashback to Ellen at Hewes, Inc.  She goes into Tommyhawk's office complaining about how she doesn't understand the whole Danny/Patty thing.  Tommy says it's just one of Patty's crusades.  Ellen's like, I didn't sign on to be a member of "The Practice."  Tommy's like, stick with me on the infant mortality case and we'll both do just fine.

Then seeing some of Tommy's family photos, Ellen asks him how old his daughter Megan is.  Tommy says she's twelve.  Ellen then starts talking about kids and how they have a "basic sense of justice" but they lose it as they grow up.

Tommyhawk then says something about how when you get older you realize it's a big cold world out there and you gotta scratch and claw for whatever justice there is. 

Ellen smiles, "You've been working for Patty way too long."

Talk about an understatement.

Patty's at her apartment chatting with a guy about what a great idea it was for Patty to have her offices  at Hewes, Inc. bugged. 

Oh man!  Isn't that just like her?

The guy who seems like some kind of PI then plays a tape for Patty of Tommyhawk agreeing to pay Agent Monique the $60,000.  Patty seems surprised but also tempted to let Tommy go through with it.  After all it would be a big case for Hewes, Inc.

However the PI warns Patty it could put her at risk.

Tommy's at the office putting cash into an envelope while the FBI stake out Agent Monique in a park.  

Agent Mario is bugging Agent Glenn to stop playing around with the wedding ring on a chain around his neck.  Agent Glenn is like, what's it to you?  Agent Mario is like, put it away.

If I didn't know better I'd say Agent Mario was jealous. 

Tommyhawk shows up and we can hear Agent Monique and Tommy talking in the park while the agents listen in the FBI spy car.

Agent Monique is all happy that she's getting the $60,000 'cause it's going to save her life.  Tommy's like you can't ever tell anybody about this.  Ever, ever, ever.

Agent Monique is like, never, never, never.

Though Tommy hesitates at first, he's just about to hand over the envelope when his phone rings.  It's Patty and whatever she tells him makes him keep the envelope, close his briefcase, tell Agent Monique he'll be in touch and walk off. 

Cut to Patty telling him not to take the infant mortality case because the Purcell case is much bigger than a murder and she's going to need his help on that.  Tommyhawk, always the eager beaver, is well...eager.

In what I can only assume is another park, Claire Maddox sashays into view and hands over some papers to a judge who's been playing a little handball.  The papers are a motion to get property back from Patty Hewes.  Evidently the judge hates Patty because as soon as he hears her name, he's like, where do I sign?

The next thing you know, cops are descending on Hewes, Inc. and serving Patty to get Purcell's papers back.  Patty reads the court order and sees the name Claire Maddox.

Meanwhile Ellen calls to Tommy as he strolls by her office.  She says she's doing background on the infant mortality case.  He tells her to forget about it because they're not taking the case.  He then tells her how Agent Monique wanted money up front.  He of course refused such an illegal and unethical deal, but it's okay because Patty changed her mind about taking the case anyway.

Ellen's disappointed.

Cut to Patty going back to that lovely house in the country where Danny is staying.  He's all pissy because Patty showed his documents to EPA Earl.  "You screwed me, Patty."

That's obviously true in more ways than one.

Danny's in full rant when Patty cuts him off.  She wanted EPA Earl to leak the documents because now she knows who was behind that report.  Patty asks Danny if he knows Claire Maddox.  He's says he's heard the name.  Well it seems she's head counsel for the third largest energy provider.  They commissioned the report and Patty says, "They killed Christine."

Patty's in her office, reading the paper when Ellen stops by to say she's taking off.  Ellen asks about Purcell and how he's doing.  Patty's like, not great, buy hey.

Ellen then tells Patty about Agent Monique wanting a payoff and Tommy turning her down.  Patty then does a perfect Patty by reminding Ellen that she was the one who brought in the case with the shady plaintiff.  Ellen nonchalantly says someone in her grief counseling group referred Agent Monique to her. 

Patty's like, "You have to be careful Ellen. Everyone is looking to play an angle."

Ain't that the truth.

It's now nighttime and pouring rain.  Danny's sitting behind the wheel of a car.  Someone gets in and it's....Claire Maddox!

They sit there silent for at least twenty seconds before she says, "Did you tell anyone about us?"

Pause.  "No."

Flash forward to quick shots of Danny digging dirt with a shovel near the country house.  Then he lights a match and drops it on the ground and then...nothing.

Love this show.

Photo Credit:  Craig Blankenhorne / FX


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